Attack boat Vermont (SSN-792) float-off on March 29, 2019. General Dynamics Electric Boats Photo
This post is part of a series of stories looking back at the top naval news from 2020.
2020 may be among the most consequential years for Navy acquisition in recent memory, with the service making big moves in support of its Distributed Maritime Operations operating concept. Read More
The following is the Dec. 23, 2020 Congressional Research Service Report, Navy Large Unmanned Surface and Undersea Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress. Read More
USS America (LHA-6) conducts a replenishment at sea with the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14) on Aug. 12, 2020. US Navy Photo
The Navy and Marine Corps need to grow their capacity to move people and supplies to and around a contested sea space – using both manned and unmanned ships and aircraft – and the service leaders asked lawmakers today for help in creating a supply chain that can stand up to a peer competitor. Read More
A Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessel takes part in a capstone demonstration during the conclusion of Phase I of the program in September. Two existing commercial fast supply vessels were converted into unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for Overlord testing, which will play a vital role in informing the Navy’s new classes of USVs. US Navy photo.
One of the Pentagon’s two Overlord large unmanned surface vessels conducted a first-ever Panama Canal transit, sailing thousands of miles from the Gulf Coast to California in a major test of autonomous systems with few reliability issues along the way, the chief of naval operations told USNI News. Read More
Defense Secretary Mark Esper tours the avenger class minesweeper USS Devastator, docked at Naval Support Activity Bahrain on Oct. 28, 2020. DoD Photo
At the beginning of the year, the Navy and Marine Corps sent a new fleet plan to Pentagon leaders that called for relying on smaller ships and unmanned vessels to meet future missions and defeat future adversaries. The Pentagon rejected the plan.
Nine-months later, Pentagon leaders reached the same conclusion: the Navy needed to be more distributed and weighted towards small combatants and unmanned craft.
What did that additional effort really get the sea services? Not much, according to some officials involved in both processes.
Chinese Navy USV
A candid photograph posted on Chinese social media sheds light on a Chinese project to develop an unmanned ship similar to the U.S. Navy’s Sea Hunter. The trimaran is remarkably similar to the Sea Hunter in almost every respect. Read More
The future Savannah (LCS-28) is floated down the Mobile River on Sept. 2, 2020, just days after it was christened at the Austal USA shipyard. Austal USA photo.
Austal USA is expanding the capacity and capability of its Alabama shipyard, doubling down on investing in its future in a way reminiscent of 2009, just before it won the block buy of Littoral Combat Ships that secured the yard a spot in the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. Read More
The following is the Sept. 8, 2020 Congressional Research Service Report, Navy Large Unmanned Surface and Undersea Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress. Read More
Textron’s Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle. Textron photo.
Early next year, U.S. Pacific Fleet will assemble the unmanned systems the Navy has deployed to the Indo-Pacific for an exercise to serve as an early marker on integrating unmanned platforms into the Navy. Read More
Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite tours the General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) Quonset Point Facility with EB Manager of Operations Walter Taft on July 8, 2020. US Navy Photo
Past ship design and acquisition mistakes, such as those with the Ford-class carrier and Littoral Combat Ship programs, are leading to some extra steps in today’s shipbuilding programs to ensure no time or money is wasted again, two speakers said at a virtual naval engineering symposium this week. Read More